DT 26110 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26110

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26110

A full analysis by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

One of the better Saturday puzzles, but still among the easiest of the week. As has been the case for several previous weeks, this one is pangrammatic – that means it contains all 26 letters of the alphabet.


1a    Gaff someone reproduced while playing badly (3,4,4)
OFF ONE’S GAME – an anagram of GAFF SOMEONE gives a phrase meaning playing badly

8a    Panelwork done in a court of law? (4,7)
JURY SERVICE – a cryptic definition

11a    Many scrums, say, at decisive stage (4)
CRUX – combine C (100 in Roman numerals / many) and RUX, which sounds like RUCKS (scrums) to get a decisive stage

12a    Liquor contains nothing that is bitter (4)
ALOE – ALE contains O (nothing) to give the source of a bitter purgative drug,

13a    Mitigator not starting more frequently (7)
OFTENER – (S)OFTENER (mitigator) without the S (not starting) gives a word nobody uses meaning more frequently

15a    Young reporter removed lice in compartment (7)
CUBICLE – combine CUB (young reporter) and an anagram (removed) of LICE to get a compartment

16a    Unusually achy and tense on boat (5)
YACHT – an anagram (unusually) of ACHY is followed by T(ense) to get this boat

17a    Temper of doctor in the red (4)
MOOD – a word meaning temper is a charade of MO (Medical Officer / doctor) and OD (OverDrawn / in the red)

18a    Girl in sight (4)
IRIS – a double definition – Iris is a girl’s name and iris is a part of the eye

19a    Sharp coming from near Azores area (5)
RAZOR – a synonym for sharp, as an adjective, is hidden (coming from) near Azores area

21a    Same bet for elderly lady (7)
DOWAGER – one of the most troublesome clues, probably because the use of DO as do / ditto / as above / same is a little unusual – follow it with WAGER (bet) to get this, usually, elderly widow

22a    Seek after as legal (7)
SOLICIT – a word meaning to seek after is a charade of SO (as) and LICIT (legal)

23a    He left the oil to work (4)
TOIL – if you are seeing this construct for the first time you will probably think it is quite clever – T(HE) without HE (he left the) is followed by OIL to get a word meaning to work

26a    Dishonest better half went round Norway (4)
BENT – a word meaning dishonest is derived by putting BET(TER) (better half) around N(orway)

27a    Bowlers’ offbreak? (3,8)
TEA INTERVAL – a break taken by the bowlers (and all the rest of the team as well)

28a    Replacing neat gun compartment in this room? (11)
ANTECHAMBER – an anagram (replacing) of NEAT is followed by CHAMBER (the compartment of a gun into which the bullets are loaded) to get a type of room


2d    Discharge female leading light (4)
FLUX – a word meaning a discharge from a mucous membrane is built up from F(emale) and LUX, the unit of illuminance (which is from the Latin for light)

3d    Hero loses us before last day of wandering adventure (7)
ODYSSEY – the hero is ODYSSEUS, so take away US and replace it with Y (last daY) to get a wandering adventure – surely it would have been better to work in “end of day” as “last day” doesn’t work for me

4d    Exercise with ease, say, outside with sword (4)
EPEE – PE (Physical Exercise) with EE (ease, say) outside gives a sword

5d    What you will no longer be able to do if supplies do! (4,3)
GIVE OUT – a sort of cryptic definition

6d    Coming from Michigan half case of mineral (4)
MICA – MI (Michigan) with CA (half Case) makes a mineral

7d    Adapt house temporarily (11)
ACCOMMODATE – a double definition

8d    Only the second person must be patient with this threat? (4,3,4)
JUST YOU WAIT – a charade of words meaning only, the second person and to be patient gives this threat

9d    Potentially shocking slippery customer (8,3)
ELECTRIC EEL – a (cryptic?) definition

10d    Compel break-up of nice estates (11)
NECESSITATE – a word meaning to compel that is an anagram (break-up) of NICE ESTATES

14d    Detection method that rises as it falls (5)
RADAR – this detection method reads the same top to bottom as it does bottom to top (rises as it falls)

15d    Charles received oxygen during utter confusion (5)
CHAOS – put CHAS (Charles) around O(xygen) to get utter confusion

19d    Need of some writing paper (7)
REQUIRE – a word meaning to need is a charade of RE (of) and QUIRE (some writing paper)

20d    Run out and play guitar on dais (7)
ROSTRUM – RO (Run Out) and STRUM (play guitar) give a dais

24d    New field first making list (4)
LEAN – N(ew) is preceded by LEA (field) to get a word meaning to list

25d    Cut some of the tablet cheaply (4)
ETCH – a word meaning to cut is hidden inside (some of) tablet cheaply

26d    Way to cook clam at party? (4)
BAKE – this is the way a clam is cooked on hot stones, with layers of potatoes, fish, sweetcorn, etc., at a clambake in the USA

While there are a few clue constructs here that I was not particularly fond of, this is a much better puzzle than we were getting a few months back.